Sarah Silverman is no stranger to controversy. Over the course of her career, the comedian has caught flack for using a racial slur, tweeting snarky rape prevention tips and more. This past Christmas Day, she did it again with this tweet:
Like clockwork, conservatives took the internet to voice their displeasure by calling her a socialist and twit, advised her to commit incest and even made Holocaust jokes. All of which, I’m sure, made Jesus so fucking proud.
I had two reactions to this “controversy”. First, I laughed out loud at the tweet. Then, I felt embarassed that Silverman, an agnostic Jew, understands what Jesus was about better than those who claim to follow him.
If I could change one thing about Silverman’s tweet, it would replacing the ” was” with “is”, as in “Jesus is gender fluid”, not “Jesus was gender fluid”. That word choice makes a huge difference. It doesn’t really matter if Jesus actually was gender-fluid, if he was a super-straight dude who loved the ladies, or even if he was above all that. What matters is how and where we see him now. Shit, we’re almost 2000 years into to this Christian thing and people still don’t get it.
From the outset of his ministry, Jesus made it plain that he was here to “liberate the oppressed“. And, contrary to what some people might think, it’s hard to find a more oppressed and persecuted group in America right now than people who don’t conform to gender stereotypes.
In Matthew 25, Jesus told us that he would be found in the oppressed and persecuted. He didn’t come for the wealthy, the religious, or any of the other people in the clique; he came for people who were outsiders, existing on the margins of society. In his day, Jesus didn’t hang out with the religious people he hung out with those who were considered the dregs of society. Why would it be any different today?
That means Jesus isn’t found in the grand cathedrals with all their liturgy and pomp. Nor is he found in a megachurch with it’s rock concert atmosphere. Jesus is found in the transgender working girl picking up johns because there’s no other way for her to keep body and soul together. He is found in the effeminate young boy who has been bullied his entire life. He is found in every person whose family and friends have rejected them for having the temerity to live into their true identity.